Hacktivism – Good vs Evil

Hackitivism has become increasingly popular over the years, with hacking groups targeting large organisations in a form of protest. Groups such as Lizard Squad and Anonymous have utilised their hacking abilities to ‘promote political ends, chiefly free speech, human rights, and information ethics.’ However, there has always been a split between whether or not hacktivism as an act considered good or evil.

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When an act of hacktivism occurs, most people usually point to Anonymous as the cause, due to their notoriety. From the church of scientology to the Australian government, Anonymous have used their resources to ensure that their goals of promoting political ends and information ethics can be achieved. Depending on perspective, one can consider this act as both good and evil. Media outlets and news corporations can see this as an opportunity to attack the group, while other members of society see this as a heroic act.

In some instances, hacktivism can become an inconvenience, again depending on who is effected by the hacktivists. For example, hacktivist group Lizard Squad, had annoyed a lot of gamers for hacking into the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live as well as PC game League of Legends. In this instance, the act of hacktivism can be seen as evil, because of the attack on things that people enjoy and use nearly everyday.

So is hacktivism good or evil? Well, it really depends on your perspective. Hacking is now considered a weapon, and like weapons, it can be used to be good or bad, to attack freedom or defend it.

Journalists and Social Media

With social media being the dominating force that is controlling the internet, many have utilised its many functions and abilities for their own mutual benefits. For some it may be promoting music, or showing the world their amazing Magret de Canard that they had for dinner with multiple hashtags saying ‘foodie’ and ‘yum.’ But for journalists, its the chance to share their work with the world, providing their opinions on issues in the world and to use as a personal space to show their more ‘human’ side.Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.48.03 pmScreen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.51.33 pm

The main focus of this article is a journalist that has been a part of my timeline for quite some time now, David Mooney. A writer for ESPN as well as his own personal blog, he promotes his variety of work, ranging from his podcasts to the articles he has written, all through a simple tweet or retweet.
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Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm

For this group of teenage boys, their serenity is a hidden place, far away from their busy social and working lives, and hidden from the rest of the world. This place is known to them as, ‘The Huts’.

When the clock strikes midnight, this quiet location becomes a hotspot for these boys, unbeknown to most of society. To one of the boys, the huts ‘becomes an initiation’ into to this brotherhood. Its when you reach ‘a certain level of knowing the boys’, thats when you are introduced to this underground, drug fuelled serenity.

Asking another one of the boys what they got up to while at the huts, their response was straight forward. “Drugs, smoking billies and getting high.” But how did this group of teenagers stumble upon this location that is unknown to their community?

Their discovery of ‘The Huts’ came from those who had previously used the location and were passing it down to the next group of teens. “Its pretty much the same for everyone,” one boy said, “someone introduces you to the Huts, you introduce the next person and it keeps on going.” While to some of the boys, it was just another weekend at ‘the Huts’, but for another it was a new experience.

“I only found out about this place last night on the bender.” The teenager had finally reached ‘that level of knowing the boys’ and was finally introduced to this hidden location.

While some of the boys were old enough to spend their Fridays and Saturdays in the city, partying until the early mornings, some were not and used the Huts to their advantage.

“When I found out about the Huts, I was under 18 so if you wanted to go hang out on Friday or Saturday night, the huts was the place to be.”

To these boys, its what the location means to them, that makes it special. “Its just the way you’re able to make new friends, one of the boys answered, while another commented on the atmosphere. “Its just so chill and everyone loves each other” he jokingly said, the other boys surrounding him, laughing and ripping into him, “you get there and its like ‘bro give me a hug.’ ”

Its this type of drug fuelled friendly environment that provides these boys with calmness and peacefulness and to these teenage boys, whose lives are fast paced and busy, ‘the Huts’ is their serenity.

https://storify.com/dimitrilignos/serenity-is-not-freedom-from-the-storm-but-peace-a

91 Riverside Drive

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One week, a lifetime of memories.

91 Riverside Drive became a symbol for friendship. A group of mates who grew up together, all together under one roof for the last time. It was a period of time where these teenagers could be teenagers one final time, without anyone to interfere. It was their last time being ‘kids’ before entering the ‘real world’.

This two story house, situated upon Lake Macquarie, fosters the memories of a group of friends and in particular, Les, who feels that this house will hold the bond together of friends that went their separate ways.

* Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

K-Popping Its Way Into Mainstream Media?

Gangnam Style. The K-pop video that took the world by storm. 2.5 billion views on YouTube, cementing itself as the most viewed YouTube video of all time. However, those 2.5 billion views just show a small glimpse into South Korea’s culture industry.

In a society that was often dominated by American and Japanese culture, South Korea began to kick into gear, becoming a competitor to the two powerful cultures that not only had an effect on Asia, but pretty much the world. However, with the mass production of films, music and TV shows, South Korea created a wave of Korean culture, overpowering America and Japan to become the most dominant cultural force in Asia.

The Korean wave is pertinent to the field of global communication studies because this cultural phenomenon is quintessentially communicative, central to a notion of shared and mediated culture as a transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbolic form and action by means of which people communicate, understand each other, and develop their new identities. – Woongjae Ryoo [1]
I have to agree with Woongjae Ryoo’s comment on the Korean media being a shared and mediated culture, as we can use subtitles to watch their movies and television shows or we can enjoy the rhythm & beat of K-pop songs without knowing the words. The Korean wave is simply communicative.
However, With American companies, such as Warner Bros and Fox, now producing Korean content, it demonstrates a prime example of ‘cultural hybridisation’. But what is cultural hybridisation?

Hybridisation of culture occurs as local cultural agents and actors interact and negotiate with global forms, using them as resources through which local peoples construct their own cultural spaces, as exemplified in the case of South Korean cinema and television dramas. Woongjae Ryoo [2]

America’s interest in Korean production companies demonstrates this process. Although it may not have a direct effect in the Korean media, it serves as a purpose to strengthen the ties between American companies and Korean producers. This may contribute to an “Americanisation period” in Korea in the near future.
One example of ‘cultural hybridisation’ is the popular entity of K-pop and in particular, PSY. The Korean pop star rose to international fame with the smash hit “Gingham Style”, which kicked off his period of ‘cultural hybridisation’. PSY, already being famous in Korea, began to introduce the English language into songs and collaborating with American artists such as Snoop Dogg. This further serves Woongjae Ryoo’s theory of developing a new identity, as PSY was considered new to the American audiences, however, has been a K-pop star since 2001.
PSY had two upsides of being a performer for both Korean and American music companies. His K-pop songs were now being  played all over the world, intriguing listeners to venture into K-pop to search for other artists and purchase k-pop albums. With his popularity in Korea, the other upside is with his songs, such as “Gentleman” and “Hangover”, that contain English lyrics. These songs give the Korean culture a chance to listen to ‘American music’  and other American artists.
America’s interest with Korean media elucidates the attempts from both American companies and Korean performers to introduce themselves to a new culture and market. This “cultural hybridisation” furthers Ryoo’s theory of the Korean wave being pertinent to the field of global communication studies.
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References
[1] Woongjae Ryoo (2009) Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave, Asian Journal of Communication, 19:2, 137-151
[2] Woongjae Ryoo (2009) Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave, Asian Journal of Communication, 19:2, 137-151

Transnational Film – Crouching Tiger and the Hidden Dragon

American films have a massive viewing all over the world, except for one country. India. That’s right. Indian film fans would rather flock to see the latest Bollywood hit than watch one that was produced in Hollywood. Hollywood only accounts for less than 10 percent of India’s box office revenue. When this is compared to China, whose box office revenue is 60 percent from Hollywood, we ask ourselves why is that so?

The difference between China and India, in terms of Hollywood’s ‘interference’ in their film industry, is the fact that Chinese producers can’t target the right audience for their films. This is usually the result of “top Chinese producers trying to compete with Hollywood with big-budget costume dramas.” These dramas aren’t what the audience are looking for anymore, making this strategy struggling to be successful. Hence why Chinese film fans would rather see the next Hollywood blockbuster than a local film.

In India, the film industry is separated to target local audiences with different local languages. The films are different between each local language, with each language having a local theme to the target audience.

China are now going through a period of “Bollywoodisation” of their own, and along with India, are beginning to have large amounts of revenue in the box office. So could we see these countries take control of global film flows from America?

This really comes down to the ability of these countries to undergo ‘cultural hybridisation’ with Western culture, in order to gain the attention of the Western world’s audience. China have been doing this for some time, with actors such as Bruce Lee, Ang Lee and Jackie Chan, being involved in ‘cultural hybrid movies’. These movies would contain sequences of martial arts and Wuxang narratives that are ‘flattened… cultural markers’ (Curtin, 2007: 289).

The success of America’s highest-grossing foreign language film – Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (released in 2000), which earned $128 million – was attributed to hybridization, resulting in ‘an Eastern movie for Western audiences, and … a Western movie for Eastern audiences’ (Lagerkvist, 2009: 370).

‘Cultural hybridisation’ in Indian films would contribute to the success of Bollywood in North America, as seen in 2008 “Slumdog Millionaire” where its cultural references connected with the audience, becoming a huge success. However, little to they realise the film was actually co-produced by a UK production company. Hence why the cultural references where easier to understand for North American audiences.

David J. Schaefer and Kavita Karan discuss another reason why Bollywood is beginning to have an effect on North America.

The content of popular Hindi cinema itself has undergone profound transformations in the years since India’s economic liberalisation in 1991. A Westernised shift in the content of popular Hindi films, which ironically may have contributed to heightened American sensitivity to and labelling of any film set in India as a ‘Bollywood’ film.

Chinese and Indian films may very well take control of global film flows from America. This will only happen however, if Chinese and Bollywood films continue to use “cultural hybridisation” in order to continue an increase in North American audiences.

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References

Curtin, M. (2007) Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lagerkvist, J. (2009) ‘Global Media for Global Citizenship in India and China’, Peace Review 23: 367–75.

Schaefer, D. Karan, K. (2010) Problematizing Chindia : Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows. Sage Publications

Emerging from the Underground – A change in concept

Originally, my plan was to interview Les at the Underground in the University of Technology Sydney, however, I felt that his connection wasn’t as strong to the Underground as it was for the holiday house where we spent most of our time at.

The difficulty in recording, for this connection to place was the fact that the holiday house was in Port Macquarie. With the stories that Les told, it is difficult to have ambient sounds in the background. The stories Les has told, really developed his character and I feel that any ambience would take the character development away from the story.

However, in one of the stories, Les mentions a particular song that will always connect him to this house. This song in the background adds significance to the story, and I believe further develops Les’ character.

“Creatures of the Night” – Review

This audio piece was my favourite out of the three I listened to, for the way it was structured along with the use of music and ambient sounds.

The ambience of what is first thought as a fire, along with the sound of the harmonica playing, creates the idea that the interviewee is like a western cowboy sitting by the campfire in the middle of no where. A great thing about this piece is the way that ambient music comes in during the breaks that the interviewee has when speaking, setting a great pace to the story.

The narrative provides a great insight into working the ‘graveyard shifts’ at fast food establishments. The interviewee tells his experience well, and his voice sounding tired further shows the difficulty in working late nigh shifts.

The Underground – Whats the Reasoning?

“When people tell you a story, it’s like they’re singing you a song. Every voice has its own musicality, its own tone and timbre. And even just a little half-sentence fragment can go in through your ear and tell you something profound about a person’s soul.” – Aaron Henkin

The particular person that I have chosen for this Assignment is one of my best friends, Les. One of the reasons I have chosen Les for this assignment, is that he has expressed his cultural background through a tattoo. See, what makes Les so different to others, is his background being both Aboriginal and Maori, and his tattoo tells a fantastic story on how he intertwines these two cultures.

We begin the interview at the Underground, the bar which is located at the University of Technology, so that the interview is somewhere where the interviewee is comfortable to tell his story of his tattoo. I hope to intertwine this with a shift in ambience, changing the ambience from a small bar crowd to a bit of a natural ambience. This change in ambience will symbolise his connection to his tattoo, one which involves nature and the environment. I hope this will display how a connection to one place (a bar) can unravel stories of connections to other significant environments.